Ryokan

A ryokan is a traditional Japanese lodging establishment that allows guests to experience the traditional Japanese lifestyle, including tatami rooms, futon bedding, Japanese-style indoor or outdoor baths, yukata robes, and kaiseki cuisine.
Customary Definition
A ryokan is a traditional Japanese lodging establishment allowing guests to experience the traditional Japanese lifestyle, such as tatami rooms, futon bedding, Japanese-style indoor or outdoor baths, yukata robes, and kaiseki cuisine.
Source: Japan Guide
Statutory Definition
A ryokan refers to a lodging establishment that provides accommodation with a focus on Japanese-style structures and facilities, charges lodging fees, and offers lodging services (using bedding and facilities).
Lobin Commentary

Ryokan can be found throughout Japan, especially in hot spring resorts. They integrate elements such as tatami (traditional Japanese floor mats made of rice straw), futon (Japanese mattresses), Japanese-style indoor or outdoor baths, yukata (casual summer kimono worn after bathing), and kaiseki (a traditional multi-course Japanese dinner served in small dishes), allowing guests to experience the traditional Japanese way of life.

The entrance of a traditional ryokan typically has a hall with sofas and tables where guests can sit and chat. Recently, some halls have televisions. The guest rooms have tatami floors and sliding doors. Most ryokan have communal baths or Japanese-style sitting baths with hot spring water, which are usually gender-separated, but high-end ryokan offer private baths. Meals are usually delivered to the room and eaten at a table.

Some high-end ryokan feature traditional Japanese gardens. Guests can wear geta or zori slippers and yukata robes to stroll around, enjoying stone paths, fountains, shrubs, and traditional Japanese tea houses. Recently, ryokan have diversified to include modern styles, large-scale resorts, private villa-style retreats, and urban ryokan.

The rates for ryokan are set per person or per room and generally include meals. The average price for a stay at a ryokan is around KRW 150,000 per night, but high-end ryokan can be more expensive than luxury hotels.

Recently, lodging establishments emulating the Japanese-style “ryokan” have appeared in Korea, and among the types of lodging establishments registered under the laws of Korea, the most significant proportion are registered as rural minbaks.

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Data Source

  • GDP: GDP, Current $US (World Bank Open Data)
  • Establishments: Compendium of Tourism Statistics (UNWTO), Lodging Business Ledger (MOIS)
  • Rooms: Compendium of Tourism Statistics (UNWTO), Lodging Business Ledger (MOIS)
  • Lodging GDP: Value Added by Industry (BEA), National Accounts (Cabinet Office), GDP of Indonesia (BPS), GDP & GNI by Sector (BOK), Economic Census (KOSIS)
  • Period: 2017-2021

※ In Korea, general & residential accommodations are included while rural & urban minbaks are excluded. Comparable countries are selected based upon availability of lodging GDP statistics for all types of accommodations.

Data Source

  • Population: Population, Total (World Bank Open Data)
  • GDP: GDP, Current $US (World Bank Open Data)
  • Rooms: Compendium of Tourism Statistics (UNWTO), Lodging Business Ledger (MOIS)
  • Lodging GDP: Value Added by Industry (BEA), National Accounts (Cabinet Office), GDP of Indonesia (BPS), GDP & GNI by Sector (BOK), Economic Census (KOSIS)
  • Period: 2017-2021

※ In Korea, general & residential accommodations are included while rural & urban minbaks are excluded. Comparable countries are selected based upon availability of lodging GDP statistics for all types of accommodations.

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Data Source

  • Korea: Lodging Business Ledger (MOIS), Tourist Accommodation Ledger (MCST)
  • USA: Census Database (STR)
  • Period: As at the end of 2021

※ General & residential accommodations other than rural and urban minbaks asre included for Korea. Life cycle was calculated as of December 31, 2021 or actual closure date. If there exists a discrepancy between data sources for an establishment, the discrepancy was settled through an algorithm before use.

Data Source

  • Korea: Lodging Business Ledger (MOIS), Tourist Accommodation Ledger (MCST), Economic Census (KOSIS), Hotel Operating Statistics (KHA), DART (FSS), Trends Report (STR)
  • USA: Compendium of Tourism Statistics (UNWTO), Census Database (STR), Trends Report (STR)
  • Period: 2005-2021

※ General & residential accommodations other than rural and urban minbaks asre included for Korea. Visibility was calculated as the number of establishments for which revenue data is available divided by the total number of establishments. If there exists a discrepancy between data sources for an establishment, the discrepancy was settled through an algorithm before use.

Data Source

  • Guests(Korea): Domestic Traveler Survey (MCST), International Traveler Survey (MCST), Hotel Operating Statistics (KHA)
  • Rooms(Korea): Lodging Business Ledger (MOIS), Tourist Accommodation Ledger (MCST)
  • Guests(USA): Compendium of Tourism Statistics (UNWTO), Trends Report (STR)
  • Rooms(USA): Compendium of Tourism Statistics (UNWTO), Census Database (STR)
  • Period: 2005-2020

※ General & residential accommodations other than rural and urban minbaks asre included for Korea. If there exists a discrepancy between data sources for an establishment, the discrepancy was settled through an algorithm before use.